Franconia, Pieta, alabaster, Germany, 1450

How Our Blessed Lady Stood by the Cross of Jesus

Woman, behold thy son, said Christ,
And He gave her to St. John;
And, Son, behold thy mother, said He,
And she saw the span of her life to be
When He was dead and gone.

For He have her not to John alone,
And Mary knew His mind,
And the whole world that caused His smart
She took straight to her martyred heart,
The Mother of mankind.

Helen Parry Eden, Cyril Robert
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York:
Marist Press, 1946.

The Child of Calvary

Of old, of old, on Calvary,
Stood Mary, full of grace,
Close to the cross where Jesus hung,
And looked up in His face.
Full tenderly Our Lord bent down
Toward her who gave Him birth,
Then placed her in the hands of him
He loved the best on earth;
So that disciple took her thence,
To dwell his home within,
And she became our mother dear,
Our Lady without sin.

E.R.W., Cyril Robert
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York:
Marist Press, 1946.
 

Pietro Vannucci, Deposition, Lippa, 1450

Lady of Pain

This will I ask of Thee
O Lonely One,
Deepest night engulfing me
And I alone
With all the sorrow of a heedless world
Upon my heart.
Loneliness and emptiness
For me apart
That I may share with Thee
Gethsemane.

This will I ask of Thee
O Scourged King,
Bleeding stripes upon my soul,
The hurt and sting
Of mockery and shame
That I may pray to be
Despised, rejected, and accursed with Thee,
Scourge me, Lord!

This will I ask of Thee
O Thorn-crowned One,
No honors, no reward, no gratitude
For words or actions done.
A crown of thorns to wound my pride,
To humble me.
This only, Lord, I ask of Thee.
A crown of thorns.

This will I ask of Thee
O Burdened One,
A cross to bear me to the ground,
To fall alone
And lashing whips to make me rise again,
With bleeding heart to walk with Thee
To Calvary.

Perugino, Crucifixion, Munchen, 1460

This will I ask of Thee
O Crucified,
Nails to pierce my hands and feet,
A lance to pierce my side,
And Thine own hand
To nail me there upon the cross
The grace to suffer and to understand,
Crucify me, Love!

Cyril Robert.
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York:
Marist Press, 1946

Our Lord and Our Lady

They warned Our Lady for the Child
That was Our Blessed Lord,
And She took Him into the desert wild,
Over the camel's ford.

And a long song She sang to Him
And a short story told:
And she wrapped Him in a woollen cloak
To keep Him from the cold.

But when Our Lord was grown a man
The rich they dragged Him down,
And they crucified Him in Golgotha,
Out and beyond the town.

They crucified Him on Calvary,
Upon an April day;
And because He had been Her little Son
She followed Him all the way.

Our Lady stood beside the Cross,
A little space apart,
And when She heard Our Lord cry out
A sword went through her heart.

They laid Our Lord in a marble tomb,
Dead, in a winding sheet.
But Our Lady stands above the world
With the white moon at her feet.

Crucifixion, Psalter, Saxony, 1480

Hilaire Belloc, Cyril Robert
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York:
Marist Press, 1946.

Geertgen tot St. Jans, Nood Gods, Utrecht, 1495

Our Lady of the Passion

O Lady of the Passion, dost thou weep?
What help can we then through our tears survey,
If such as thou a cause for wailing keep?
What help, what hope, for us, sweet Lady, say?

Good man, it doth befit thine heart to lay
More courage next it, having seen me so.
All other hearts find other balm today,
The whole world's Consolation is my woe!

John Mauropus (D. 1060)
Translated from the Greek: Elizabeth Barrett Browning
M. Thérèse.
I Sing of a Maiden: the Mary book of verse.
New York: Macmillan, 1947.

 

 

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